Traditional grammars organize sentences into 4 categories:
- Simple sentence
- Compound sentence
- Complex sentence
- Compound-complex sentence
A complex sentence has just one independent clause and at least one dependent clause:
Rex barks when the postman comes.
Rex barks [INDEPENDENT CLAUSE] when the postman comes [DEPENDENT CLAUSE].
Rex [SUBJECT] barks [FINITE VERB]
when [DEPENDENT MARKER WORD] the postman [SUBJECT] comes [VERB]
• Richard Nordquist defines “clause“
• Identifying Independent and Dependent Clauses (OWL)
• Clauses (Richard Nordquist at about.com)
• The Main Clause (chompchomp)
• Dependent Clauses: Adverbial, Adjectival, Nominal (Towson)
• Clauses and Sentences (Internet Grammar of English)